Harper Government invests in autism treatment and care

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (fifth from left) poses with participants following her announcement of funding from the Government of Canada and partners for a new national research chair in autism treatment and care. (CNW Group/Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

OTTAWA, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced funding for the Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Treatment and Care Research Program.  The purpose of the Chair is to support a new investigator bringing innovative approaches to the treatment and/or care of autism spectrum disorders. The CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, Health Canada, NeuroDevNet and the Sinneave Family Foundation are offering this funding research opportunity.

"Our government is committed to continuously advancing research in the field of autism," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We are pleased to partner with Canadian organizations and believe it will help stimulate research and, ultimately, improve the health of people with autism."

The announcement took place at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Autism Intervention Program Offices in Ottawa. The Minister was joined by Member of Parliament Mike Lake, and Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Colin Carrie, both of whom have children with forms of autism.  Also joining the Minister was Scientific Director of the CHEO Research Institute Dr. Martin Osmond and Scientific Director of NeuroDevNet Dan Goldowitz.

"Significant gaps exist in applied research that focuses on autism diagnosis, treatment and care," said Dr. Goldowitz. "We hope that this Chair opportunity will attract interest from the best science minds across the globe who see the potential that this position will provide in making a real difference in the lives of children, youth, adults and their families who live with autism every day."

Investigators working in Canada and those willing to relocate to a Canadian research institution are eligible for the Chair. Investigators not currently conducting research in the field of autism spectrum disorders must demonstrate how they would bring new approaches to the treatment and/or care of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The Chair's application form is available on CIHR's website.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

Image with caption: "Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (fifth from left) poses with participants following her announcement of funding from the Government of Canada and partners for a new national research chair in autism treatment and care. (CNW Group/Canadian Institutes of Health Research)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120327_C8102_PHOTO_EN_11625.jpg

For further information:

Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Agluakkaq, 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563